May 16, 2008

Sweetwater Mariachi Foundation Awards $32,000 in Scholarships

Winners Participate in Mariachi Music and Ballet Folklorico Program

Blending music with cultural tradition, the innovative mariachi program is booming in Sweetwater schools and it’s paying off for students.

Sweetwater student musicians entertain the crowd at the 12th Annual Mariachi Scholarship Foundation gala and dinner held May 9 at the San Diego Marriott on the bayfront.

A total of 23 Sweetwater seniors were rewarded for their involvement in the music program with scholarships from the Sweetwater Mariachi Foundation. The scholarships ranged in value from $1000 to $2,500. Four students in the Ballet Folklorico program also earned scholarships worth $750 each.

In addition to the graduating seniors, three middle school students earned scholarships of $250 each toward their college educations. Another four students from Southwestern College, who are also involved in Sweetwater’s mariachi program, also received scholarships.

“As a school district that embraces the strength of its diversity, Sweetwater is especially pleased to provide a home for such a rich cultural experience,” said Board President Pearl Quiñones. “The mariachi program is a big incentive and inspiration for our students who must demonstrate a commitment to academic achievement as well as for the music.”

The Mariachi Scholarship foundation was established in 1996 to support the study and performance of mariachi music in Sweetwater schools and to award scholarships to deserving graduates. The program began in just one high school and has grown to include eight middle and high schools.

More than 300 guests attended the 12th Annual Mariachi Scholarship Foundation gala and dinner held May 9 at the San Diego Marriott on the bayfront. The student mariachis sparkled in their glittering costumes and thrilled the crowd with their trumpet bursts and lilting melodies.

Scholarship Winners include:

Christine Aranda Perpetual Scholarship - $2,500
Leonila Sigala, Sweetwater High School

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $1,500
Michael Pelayo, Hoover High School

Gilbane/SGI - $1,500
Sandra Gonzalez, San Ysidro High School

Azteca San Diego/Channel 10 - $1,500
Ricardo Munguia, Chula Vista High School

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $560
California Coast Credit Union - $440
Uriel Hernandez, Chula Vista High School

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $1,000
Esther Rodriguez, Chula Vista High School
Yolanda Resendiz, Chula Vista High School
Corina Vargas, Chula Vista High School
Gabriel Martinez, Chula Vista High School
Gloria Casillas, Chula Vista High School
Perry Chacon, Chula Vista High School
Viridiana Vazquez, San Ysidro High School
Roberto Villasenor, Bonita Vista High School
Alejandra Figueroa, Hilltop High School
Eric Nava, Chula Vista High School
Margarita Lara, Sweetwater High School
Cecilia Villalpando, Chula Vista High School
Jessika Carrillo, Chula Vista High School
Ulisses Geraldo, Chula Vista High School
Steve Hernandez, San Ysidro High School
Esther Favela, San Ysidro High School
Roberto Jimenez, San Ysidro High School
Isabel Cortes, Chula Vista High School

Ballet Folklorico Scholarship - $750
Laura Gomez, Sweetwater High School
Ariana Castellanos, Hilltop High School
Fernanda Plascencia, Hilltop High School
Karen Lima, Chula Vista High School

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $250
Martinez + Cutri Corporation

Cassandra Worthington, National City Middle School
Lindsay Calvillo, National City Middle School
Juan Valtierra, National City Middle School

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $1,500
Carlos Gutierrez, Southwestern College

Mariachi Scholarship Foundation - $500
Carlos Castaneda, Southwestern College
Kendra Fabela, Southwestern College
Jose Aviles, Southwestern College

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